China has a very long history with over 5000 years. Throughout the years, various dynasties have come and gone leaving them with practices and traditions as well as different cultures. Did you know that in Chine, food is considered as the most important thing? As a matter of fact, Chinese people greet each other with “have you eaten” instead of the usual “good evening” or “good morning”, depending on the time of the day. A guest, regardless of being expected or not, will never be allowed to leave a residence without partaking some drink or food.
Who doesn’t love Chinese food? Are you greatly intrigued by how Chinese people can cook lots of attractive looking foods and still able to maintain such amazing blends of taste and flavor? The Chinese dishes served by the locals come in huge plates that were meant to be shared, therefore food has some essential social aspects. Probably, you’ve already noticed that the food is being served in small pieces that don’t require cutting at tables and can already be picked up by the chopsticks.
Visitors, guests or tourists leave the country without being hooked by the Chinese cuisine, and quite a number of them consider Chinese dishes as one of the best in the world. Nowadays, there are lots of Chinese restaurants available around the world, however to taste the authentic Chinese cuisine, China is the best place to be.
Chinese cuisines were known to have six schools which include the following:
- Imperial Dishes – The imperial dishes originated from the imperial palace’s kitchen exclusive for the enjoyment of the emperors and empresses in the bygone days. The graceful names that provides wings to the imagination, the impeccable selections of the ingredients, and the state of the art techniques in cooking that were designed in order to preserve the natural hue, taste and aroma are the main hallmarks of the imperial dishes. One of the most popular imperial dishes of today is the Peking Duck.
- Mansion Kitchen Fare – the famous personages and high officials who greatly cared for what they will eat in during the bygone days went out of their way in order to hire the most famous chefs with a very handsome pay. With the great culinary skills, these Chinese chefs become a school of their own within the walls of mansions of powerful and rich people, and eventually their styles have found their own to the public. The tank family and the Confucian Mansion are the representative of Chinese mansion style cuisine. The Confucian fare is dished out in Confucian restaurant the Liulchang in Beijing, and the Tanfammily kitchen has opened their shop in the Beijing Hotel.
- Local Cuisine – The regional differences in climate, resources and folklore have led to the rise of many different cooking school in China. The Canton, Yangzhou, Sichuan, and Shandong are considered as the 4 major schools. Another kind of theory places the number at 8, with the addition of Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian and Hunan. Third theory include Shanghai and Beijing so that the country has 10 major schools for Chinese cooking. However, the Sinchualn, Cantonese and Yangzhou cooking are generally considered as the most influential of all Chinese school cuisines, and the other are simple considered as the branches.
- Ethnic Dishes – These kinds of Chinese dishes were first created by the minority of people and later was spread to the other places of China. These include the Inner Mangolia’s mutton hot pot and xinjiang’s whole roasted lamb as well as the shish kebab.
- The Monastic Dishes – Also known as the vegetarian’s dishes in China, the monastic dishes had their origins in the Buddhist temples across the country. The cooking schools were understandably dominated by the vegetables, and it’s flourishing because the increasing standard of living has led many people to becoming more and more health-conscious and stick to the vegetarian’s dishes. Some of these dishes were prepared by resembling the shapes and flavors of the meat dishes. Aside from their special flavors, the monastic dishes help protect the health of people and are completely stomach friendly. If you wish to try monastic dishes, you can have the vegetarian dinners in the famous Chinese Buddhist temple found on Mt. Wutai.
- Therapeutic Dishes – The therapeutic dishes have a very long history in China. Since the ancient time, the Chinese people have been incorporating their traditional medicinal resources in their dishes. These medicines may taste sour, bitter, salty, pungent or sweet. But if they’re properly handled, the resulting dishes can promise you an unforgettable gormandizing experience, especially for those who desire to benefit from therapeutical effects of what they’re eating.
Once you have already tried the above-mentioned dishes, it is already safe to say that you’ve already obtain almost a complete idea about the Chinese cuisine.
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